Mink Farm Raider Guilty


Layton man pleads guilty to freeing minks from farm

The Salt Lake Tribune - By Pamela Manson

A man accused of releasing hundreds of minks from a South Jordan farm pleaded guilty Wednesday to damaging and interfering with animal enterprises.

William Viehl faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dee Benson on Nov. 12.

Viehl, 22, of Layton, and Alex Hall, 20, of Ogden, were indicted in March on the felony count for allegedly opening hundreds of pens and destroying breeding records at the McMullin mink farm on Aug. 19, 2008. Prosecutors say the crime resulted in more than $10,000 in damage.

The pair also were indicted on a misdemeanor charge of attempting to damage the operations of the Matthews mink farm in Hyrum on Oct. 19, 2008. That count has a maximum punishment of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

Most of the estimated 600 minks released from the McMullin farm were recovered. Hall's trial is pending.



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